|Publication number||US7898807 B2|
|Application number||US 12/400,067|
|Publication date||Mar 1, 2011|
|Filing date||Mar 9, 2009|
|Priority date||Mar 9, 2009|
|Also published as||CA2695746A1, CA2695746C, EP2228821A2, EP2228821A3, US20100226093|
|Publication number||12400067, 400067, US 7898807 B2, US 7898807B2, US-B2-7898807, US7898807 B2, US7898807B2|
|Inventors||Richard Alfred Beaupre, Ljubisa Dragoljub Stevanovic|
|Original Assignee||General Electric Company|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (36), Referenced by (6), Classifications (26), Legal Events (2)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
Many high performance power electronics require cooling devices to prevent them from overheating so as to improve reliability and efficiency thereof. One method for cooling such power electronics is by utilizing heat sinks. The heat sinks operate by transferring the heat away from the power electronics thereby maintaining a lower temperature of the power electronics. There are various types of heat sinks known in thermal management fields including air cooled and liquid cooled devices.
Typically, the heat sink is made up electrically conductive material. Therefore, the power electronics may be coupled to the heat sink with a substrate disposed therebetween to avoid generation of short circuit, which can damage the power electronics. The substrate generally includes an electrically isolating and thermal conductive layer, such as a ceramic layer. In order to attach the ceramic layer to the heat sink and the power electronics, the substrate further includes metal, such as copper brazed or bonded to upper and lower surfaces of the ceramic layer to perform surface treatment to the ceramic layer.
The surface treatment process is typically performed at a high temperature, such as 600° C. to 1000° C. Thus, metal patterns and thickness should be controlled to prevent mechanical distortion as the substrate is cooled to room temperature. The cooling may result in mechanical residual stress at the metal to ceramic interfaces due to the difference in coefficient of thermal expansion (CTE) between the metal and the ceramic layer. For example, the ceramic layer includes aluminum nitride ceramic whose CTE is 4 ppm/° C., and the CTE of the copper metal is 17 ppm/° C.
Additionally, the substrate is formed with a plurality of millichannels on the lower metal for a coolant passing through. However, fabricating the microchannels in the bottom metal of the substrate may relieve some of the residual stress due to removal of the metal. Consequently, the substrate may be deformed.
It is desirable to have a planar substrate for bonding the substrate to the heatsink and the power electronics. Particularly, when the non-planar substrate is bonded to the heatsink at a higher temperature about 250° C., the substrate deforms more and the bond to the heatsink can not be achieved.
Therefore, there is a need for new and improved methods for making millichannel substrate, and cooling device and apparatuses using the millichannel substrate.
A substrate for power electronics mounted thereon is provided in accordance with one embodiment of the invention. The substrate comprises a middle ceramic layer having a lower surface and an upper surface, an upper metal layer attached to the upper surface of the middle ceramic layer, and a lower metal layer attached to the lower surface of the middle ceramic layer. The lower metal layer has a plurality of millichannels configured to deliver a coolant for cooling the power electronics, and the millichannels are formed on the lower metal layer prior to attachment to the lower surface of the middle ceramic layer.
A method for making a cooling device is provided in accordance with another embodiment of the invention. The method comprises defining a plurality of millichannels on a first layer and forming a substrate. The forming a substrate comprises attaching the first layer having the millichannels to a lower surface of a second layer, and attaching a third layer to an upper surface of the second layer. The method further comprises attaching the substrate to a base plate so that the first layer is coupled to the base plate, wherein the base plate is configured to cooperate with the substrate to pass a coolant through the millichannels.
An embodiment of the invention further provides a method for making an apparatus having a substrate with millichannel cooling, wherein the step of making the substrate comprises defining a plurality of millichannels on a first layer, attaching the first layer having the millichannels to a lower surface of a second layer, and attaching a third layer to an upper surface of the second layer. The method further comprises attaching the substrate to a base plate so that the first layer is coupled to the base plate, and attaching a power electronics to the third layer. The base plate is configured to cooperate with the substrate to pass a coolant through the millichannels.
The above and other aspects, features, and advantages of the present disclosure will become more apparent in light of the following detailed description when taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings in which:
Various embodiments of the present disclosure are described herein with reference to the accompanying drawings. This description relates generally to methods for making substrates, and cooling devices and apparatuses using millichannel substrates. The description also relates to millichannel substrates and methods for making millichannel substrates.
As illustrated in
In certain embodiments, non-limiting examples of the coolant comprise de-ionized water and other non-electrically conductive liquids. Non-limiting examples of the power electronics or heat source 100 may include Insulated Gate Bipolar Transistors (IGBT), Metal Oxide Semiconductor Field Effect Transistors (MOSFET), Diodes, Metal Semiconductor Field Effect Transistors (MESFET), and High Electron Mobility Transistors (HEMT). The millichannel substrate embodiments find applications to the power electronics manufactured from a variety of semiconductors, non-limiting examples of which include silicon (Si), silicon carbide (SiC), gallium nitride (GaN), and gallium arsenide (GaAs).
In the arrangement in
For the embodiment in
In some non-limiting examples, diameters of the inlet and outlet plenums 22, 23 may be larger than diameters of the inlet and outlet manifolds 20, 21. Thus, there is no significant pressure-drop in the plenums. Other discussion of the channels is disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 7,353,859, which is incorporated herein by reference.
In certain embodiments, the baseplate 11 may comprise at least one thermally conductive material, non-limiting examples of which may include copper, aluminum, nickel, molybdenum, titanium, and alloys thereof. In some examples, the baseplate 11 may also comprise at least one thermally conductive material, non-limiting examples of which may include thermo pyrolytic graphite (TPG). In other examples, the baseplate 11 may also comprise at least one thermally conductive material, non-limiting examples of which may include metal matrix composites such as aluminum silicon carbide (AlSiC), aluminum graphite, or copper graphite. Alternatively, the baseplate 11 may also comprise at least one thermally conductive material, non-limiting examples of which may include ceramics such as aluminum oxide, aluminum nitride, or silicon nitride ceramic. In certain examples, the baseplate 11 may include at least one thermoplastic material.
In some embodiments, for the arrangements in
Non-limiting examples of the ceramic layer 120 may comprise aluminum oxide (AL2O3), aluminum nitride (AlN), beryllium oxide (BeO), and silicon nitride (Si3N4). Both the DBC and the AMB may be convenient structures for the substrate 12, and the use of the conductive material (in this case, copper) on the ceramic layer 120 may provide thermal and mechanical stability. Alternatively, the conductive layer 121, 122 may include other materials, but not limited to, aluminum, gold, silver, and alloys thereof according to different applications.
For the arrangement in
In operation, for the arrangement in
In embodiments of the invention, the millichannels 125-126 may include square/rectangular cross sections. Non-limiting examples of cross sections of the millichannels 125-126 may include u-shaped, circular, triangular, or trapezoidal, cross-sections. The millichannels 125-126 may be cast, machined, or etched in the lower layer 122, and may be smooth or rough. The rough millichannels may have relatively larger surface area to enhance turbulence of the coolant so as to augment thermal transfer therein. In non-limiting examples, the millichannels may employ features such as dimples, bumps, or the like therein to increase the roughness thereof. Similarly to the millichannels 125-126, the manifolds 20-21 and the plenums 22-23 may also have a variety of cross-sectional shapes, including but not limited to, round, circular, triangular, trapezoidal, and square/rectangular cross-sections. The channel shape is selected based on the applications and manufacturing constraints and affects the applicable manufacturing methods, as well as coolant flow.
In some embodiments, the substrate 12 may be planar so as to be coupled to the base plate 11 and the power electronics 100 securely. Therefore, when fabricating the substrate 12, deformation of the substrate 12 should be restrained. In some non-limiting examples, the lower layer 122 may be formed with the millichannels 125, 126 before being coupled to the middle layer 120 to prevent the substrate 12 from deformation.
In one non-limiting example, the substrate 12 may have the direct bonded copper or the active metal braze structure. Accordingly, as described in a flowchart 200 illustrated in
Alternatively, the lower layer and the upper layer may not be attached to the middle layer simultaneously but serially. Additionally, in certain examples, the upper layer may also define millichannels similar to the lower layer millichannels 125-126. As described herein, the upper and lower layers may include other conductive material such as aluminum, gold, silver, and alloys thereof according to different applications.
Subsequently, in step 215, the substrate is attached to the base plate. In certain embodiments, such as indicated in
Finally, in step 220, the power electronics are attached to the upper layer using some type of the second solder 14, which can be implemented by one skilled in the art. Alternatively, in some embodiments, the power electronics may be attached to the substrate before the substrate is attached to the base plate. Thus, in certain embodiments, the millichannels are first formed on the lower layer before the lower layer and the upper layer are coupled to the middle layer so that the deformation of the substrate in the fabrication process may be reduced or eliminated.
In operation, as shown in step 225, the coolant flows through the base plate and also through the millichannels in the substrate thereby cooling the electronics.
While the disclosure has been illustrated and described in typical embodiments, it is not intended to be limited to the details shown, since various modifications and substitutions can be made without departing in any way from the spirit of the present disclosure. As such, further modifications and equivalents of the disclosure herein disclosed may occur to persons skilled in the art using no more than routine experimentation, and all such modifications and equivalents are believed to be within the spirit and scope of the disclosure as defined by the following claims.
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|U.S. Classification||361/699, 29/890.039, 361/700, 29/890.03, 29/890.09, 361/679.53, 165/80.4|
|Cooperative Classification||Y10T29/4935, Y10T428/2457, Y10T29/49366, Y10T29/494, H01L2924/1305, H01L2924/13055, H01L2924/13091, H01L23/3735, H01L2224/32225, H01L23/473, H05K2201/0355, H05K3/0061, H05K2201/09745, H05K1/0272, H05K1/0306|
|European Classification||H01L23/473, H01L23/373L, H05K1/02F|
|Mar 9, 2009||AS||Assignment|
Owner name: GENERAL ELECTRIC COMPANY, NEW YORK
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNORS:BEAUPRE, RICHARD ALFRED;STEVANOVIC, LJUBISA DRAGOLJUB;REEL/FRAME:022363/0668
Effective date: 20090305
|Sep 1, 2014||FPAY||Fee payment|
Year of fee payment: 4